artists & participants
For Communism ten artists have been commissioned to produce new work in response to this term. This work, which includes installation, photography, performance, graphic design, public sculpture and text, will be exhibited in Project's gallery and foyer, on O 'Connell Street and in a bicycle workshop. The word communism is generally ringed around with caution and seen as representing a failed ideology or unrealistic utopia. Elsewhere, radical theorists consider communism as a social force to be ubiquitous but invisible. Here, artists have been invited to consider the word communism, and, moving beyond a sense of impasse, suggest ways in which this term can be materialised.
For Communism Susan Kelly has taken Lenin's original question 'What is to be done' and relates it to today by soliciting audiences to write their suggestions on slips of paper. This work has toured Russia, Finland and the US and has also appeared on the Internet. At Project, past suggestions and blank slips will be displayed on furniture from Rodchenko's Workers Reading Room of 1925. Klaus Weber has produced two works for the exhibition. One is a photo-collage, a bio political civic statue, composed of people emitting water from different orifices to form a human fountain. The other is a to-scale model of a utopian space made from mirror and glass, containing a living plant with hallucinogenic properties. Artist Aleksandra Mir has reworked the famous poster image of Che Guevara by superimposing a cut out Concorde onto it - playing off the affinity and the difference between these two icons from the 1960s. This artwork will double as the invite and will be mailed to Project's database. At the centre of the exhibition Eva Berendes has designed a screened off area using a ten metre long curtain which will be suspended from a triangular track attached to the gallery ceiling. Using this space as a theatrical backdrop, Goshka Macuga and Lali Chetwynd will stage a performance with two elements running simultaneously: one, a Lenin impersonator delivering a speech in German, the other a recreation of the Dadaist performers, the Cabaret Voltaire, with costumes and masks designed by Chetwynd.
During the exhibition Veit Stratmann's sculpture 'chairs' will be positioned in Project's foyer. This work consists of five wheeled office chairs joined back to back in a circle. The sculpture allows people to sit and move together around the building on the basis that they act collaboratively. Further afield, Seamus Nolan will set up an open workshop in an unused shop space, where abandoned and reclaimed bicycles will be reconfigured into working machines. In collaboration with the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, artists Paul McDevitt and Declan Clarke have been commissioned to install a concrete table tennis table on O'Connell Street as a monument to leisure on Dublin's main thoroughfare.
On Saturday 29th January, there will be a seminar run in partnership with the Hugh Lane Gallery on the subject of communism and changes in the nature of work. It will focus on the artist's paradoxical role as a model for flexible and 'free' labour. Looking more generally at the function of immaterial labour in a neo liberal economy like Ireland's, the seminar will question how in this context the role of the artist can be conceived of as critical and autonomous, political and collective. Speakers will include Eric Alliez, Alberto Toscano and Hito Steyerl, whose film 'November' will also be screened.
Communism is supported by the British Council, the Goethe Institute and the Hugh Lane Gallery.